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Applied DNA Partnership With Pillar Technologies Brings CertainT to Textiles, PPE

Applied DNA Sciences, a specialist in DNA-based supply chain security, has entered into a supply agreement for its CertainT platform with ITW Pillar Technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Applied DNA will supply SigNature molecular tags and SigNify in-field authentication devices to Pillar for use on materials and products treated with Pillar’s patented plasma deposition technology that creates for textiles finishings with enhanced characteristics, such as wickability, breathability, ink and dye uptake, anti-microbial and hydrophobicity, that are eco-friendly to apply compared to traditional wet-chemical processes.

The materials and products will carry Applied DNA’s CertainT trademark, representing authenticity, origin, traceability, sustainability and quality, which will bring transparency to Pillar’s customers’ supply chains and enable these customers to promote traceability and trust in the materials used in their products. Pillar’s systems are utilized by many manufacturers of N95 face masks, gowns and other equipment used by frontline healthcare practitioners. The deal supports Pillar’s strategy to combat the growing issue of counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE) entering the healthcare supply chain as the Covid-19 pandemic increases demand and has grown to include other materials and products manufactured by Pillar’s customers.

Pillar personnel will be fully trained in the application of the molecular tags and in the use of the in-field authentication systems. Pillar will incorporate SigNature molecular tags into textiles including, but not limited to, polypropylene, cotton, recycled polyester, nylon, wool and viscose for the manufacture of products, including those used in producing PPE. All tagged materials and products will be tracked via CertainT’s cloud-based portal for ease of access by Pillar and its customers.

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“We believe our partnership with Applied DNA in the deployment of its CertainT platform across our manufacturing lines provides brands and manufacturers [with] the most advanced and secure plasma-based systems available on the market globally,” Rory Wolf, CEO of ITW Pillar Technologies, said. “As the standard of proof and need for greater transparency continue to increase, so too does the need to have a scientific basis to support sustainability goals and ongoing commercial programs. Our customers now have the complete solution that gives them formidable brand protection and assurance with forensic certainty. We are especially pleased to offer definitive proof of the authenticity of PPE materials to customers at a time when Covid-19-fueled demand has led to an influx of substandard and falsified product in the healthcare supply chain.”

MeiLin Wan, vice president of textiles at Applied DNA, said the agreement with Pillar represents further adoption of our CertainT platform and another avenue for the commercialization of its supply-chain security solutions.

“Having validated and proven that our CertainT platform can work on a wide range of substrates with Pillar, the advancement in portable testing together with advancements in non-chemical applications for textiles and other materials provides a compelling solution for branded and proprietary products that require a trusted, market-ready solution,” Wan said.

The CertainT platform has three technology pillars–tag, test and track–that allow raw materials and products to be tagged with a unique molecular identifier. This identifier can then be tested for its presence as it travels throughout a global supply chain. All the data points associated to tagging and testing are tracked by uploading to a secure cloud database. The platform can be used across industries such as textiles, cannabis, military, leather, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals and personal care.